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Methuselah (Hebrew: מְתוּשָׁלַח, Mətušélaḥ; "When he dies, it shall be sent" or "his death shall bring"[1]) (687 AM-1656 AM or 3317 BC-2349 BC) was the son of Enoch, the father of Lamech, and the grandfather of Noah.


He was born to his father Enoch when Enoch was 65 years old, in 687 AM.[2] He is the longest-lived man recorded in Biblical history. When he was 187 years old, he had a son named Lamech (not to be confused with Lamech the Murderer, a Cainite).[3] Living to be 969 years old, he died within a few weeks of the Great Flood, in 1656 AM.[4]

And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech. And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died. Genesis 5:25-27 (KJV)

Manner of death

The Bible nowhere tells either the exact date or the manner of the death of Methusaleh. As a result, this date and manner have been the subject of endless and often vain speculation. Some have suggested that Methusaleh was an unbeliever and perished in the Flood—though John D. Morris points out, correctly, that Methusaleh had a genuinely godly father and a son with enough prophetic insight to name his own son appropriately.

Morris further suggests, on the basis of God's direct and baleful warning to Satan in the Garden of Eden, that Methusaleh did not die naturally at all, but rather some unnamed unbeliever murdered him. That murder, if it took place, might have been the last act that would put an end to Divine patience.[5]

But Morris' analysis appears to ignore one key fact about God: that God is always in control, and that no event takes place "by default" or without Divine approval. Methusaleh's death, whether it was peaceful or violent, took place at a time of God's specific choosing—and that time need not have been immediately before the Flood, though it did occur in the Flood year.

Meaning of his name

The name Methuselah has a clouded meaning, but some say they know for sure the meaning of this name.[6]

Prominent scientist and creationist Dr. Henry Morris said that it may mean, "When he dies, judgment." But others say it may mean, "When he is dead it shall be sent."[7]

However, others still persist and state that the name may mean, "Man of the dart" or "... javelin" [8] In all cases however, the word, "it" refers to the Flood of Noah.


  1. Missler, Chuck. "Meaning of the Names in Genesis 5." Koinonia House Online. Accessed December 25, 2007.
  2. James Ussher, The Annals of the World, Larry Pierce, ed., Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2003 (ISBN 0890513600), pgh. 19
  3. Ussher, op. cit., pgh. 20
  4. Ussher, op. cit., pgh. 33
  5. Morris, John D. "How did Methusaleh die?" Institute for Creation Research. Accessed December 25, 2007.
  6. Author unknown. "Entry for Methuselah." <>. Accessed December 24, 2007.
  7. (Cornwall and Smith, Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible Names)
  8. (Holzinger / Also: Larry Richards, Every Man in the Bible)